It doesn't take more than a few minutes of scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram before you realize that being handy has its advantages, meaning that instead of throwing out old furniture you may be able to rescue it by either refinishing it or recycling it. Your main consideration is, how much time, patience, and expertise do you have to do a good job?
If it's a good piece of furniture that has a few nicks and surface problems you may want to refinish it. We provide a variety of eco-friendly stains and topcoats for most refinishing uses. Click here for some tips from a master furniture refinisher. If you have an antique piece, though, restoring it is best left to the professionals.
What if the piece is too far gone? Or maybe you are just not interested in a major re-do. You may decide to put it out in the garbage but then it's most likely to end up in a landfill. Even if you donate it to a thrift store, a piece that doesn't sell also ends up in a landfill. Not a good idea. Instead, consider "green" options like those mentioned in this article from Apartment Therapy. Keep in mind that some people make money by upcycling old furniture into new pieces and selling them at fairs or artisan stores.
Always popular on social media sites are the IKEA furniture hacks, so for a fun and inspiring look at other people's creativity you can start here at House Beautiful.